Sports Community Remembers Tom Drangmeister

 In General News, Press Releases

The New Mexico sports community lost a longtime friend this week.  Tom Drangmeister passed away Tuesday at the age of 82.  “Tom was such a big fan and supporter of high school athletics in so many ways,” said New Mexico Activities Association Executive Director Sally Marquez.  “He was so passionate about helping out and making a difference in the lives of kids.  He will be greatly missed.”

Drangmeister coached at Gadsden High School (1969-1974) and Deming High School following an athletic career at Western New Mexico University.  For decades, Tom worked as a coach, athletic coordinator, salesman, volunteer and broadcaster for high school athletics in New Mexico.

This week, friends, fans, coaches and colleagues posted their condolences and messages on social media about his passing.  Here is a sample of some of the postings:

  • “On behalf of the Board of Directors and President Gary Bradley, the New Mexico High School Coaches Association offers condolences to the enormous number of New Mexicans that were family and friends of Tom Drangmeister.  Unfortunately, Tom will no longer be able to share his historical knowledge and his historical love of high school sports in New Mexico as he has for the last 55+ years.  As a coach, as a salesperson, as an athletic coordinator, as a broadcaster, as a mentor, and as a teacher, Tom Drangmeister was a winner.  President Gary Bradley said, ‘Tom Drangmeister was a lifelong friend of coaches in New Mexico. His dedication, his grumpiness, and his love for life will forever live in the hearts of the New Mexico coaching fraternity.  God bless his family’.”
  • “Many great broadcasts together, but more importantly a great friend will be missed!”-Adam Diehl of Sports Primo
  • “The good Lord got him a good one right there”-Kelley Lee
  • “I met Tom Drangmeister a few times when I was on the New Mexico Highlands coaching staff with Fred Bleil. To hear them talk, laugh and joke has stuck with me. It amazes me the sports community in New Mexico just how close we are and how blessed we were to have had Tom in it.”- Bernard Rogers
  • “Tom Drangmeister was a true ambassador for youth sports in New Mexico.  Whether he was on the mic for a broadcast or helping keep the scorebook, Tom did anything he could to help young athletes succeed and will truly be missed.”-Proview Networks
  • “This one is hard to hear, he always supported me through YAFL and HS football.  Great broadcaster and will be missed!”-Aden Chavez, Cibola quarterback
  • “Started going to breakfast with Tom in high school, still remember those days like it was yesterday.  He always took care of us and the stories were amazing!”-La Cueva assistant football coach Enrico Marcelli
  • “One of my favorite people to catch up with at track.  Glad to chat with him at Metro basketball!  Sending love and condolences to the Drangmeister family”-West Mesa cheer coach Stephanie Davy
  • “Not too many ‘southerners’, especially from Silver city, come up to the ‘north’ to coach.  Tom was one of the first to welcome me.  I enjoyed listening to the old stories of his time in Silver City at WNMU and how he knew my dad and uncle Mike.”-Angel Castillo of Cleveland High School
  • “Mustang Nation lost a well-known member of its family, Tom Drangmeister.  Tom was a baseball and basketball alum.  He leaves a legacy in New Mexico after being a high school basketball coach, influencing hundreds of lives.  Tom, thank you for positively impacting our youth.”-Western New Mexico University
  • “What a great friend.  Always looked forward to the NMHSCA Coaching Clinic because one of my highlights was the visits with Tom over a cold beverage.  Loved to play in Albuquerque, because Tom always came to games.  Sure going to miss my friend. Prayers to the Drangmeister family.”-Dale Fullerton
  • “His passing really makes me sad.  He was a wonderful person who really loved attending high school games and he supported the athletes.  He will be missed by everyone who knew him.  Condolences to his son Ed and the Drangmeister family.”-Frank Castillo
  • “RIP Tom and condolences to the Drangmeister family. Pouring out some lemon-line Gatorade for my friend tonight.  Tom was a great friend to everyone he met.  I’m proud to say he was my friend.”-Salomon Gonzales
  • “RIP Tom.  One of the great sports fans for NM high school football, basketball and track.”-Randy Adrian
  • “Never met a person who didn’t get along with Tom, he was always there to help and tell stories.  I’m sure he’s with his brother now talking hoops! Very lucky to know them.”-Eldorado boys basketball coach Roy Sanchez
  • “I am very fortunate that I called Tom a friend.  He will be truly missed!”-Yvonne Sanchez
  • “This guy was the real deal man.  Always treated us with respect.”-Artesia football coach Jeremy Maupin
  • “The epitome of a class act! RIP”-Highland High School football coach Philip Lovato
  • “What a great man.  ALWAYS made you feel appreciated and welcomed.  Will miss this man a ton.”-Clovis High School football coach Cal Fullerton
  • “Tom was a great mentor and friend! Enjoyed all my conversations and New Mexico lost a great man today.”-Artesia High School boys basketball coach Michael Mondragon
  • “NM high school sports sure has lost a great man, Tom was always willing to help.  We always had great conversations whether it was at a football game, state basketball tournament, coaches clinic or when he worked for GTS.  We go back a few years but I will cherish our friendship.”-Leonard Velasquez
  • “Tom as a true ambassador for youth sports in New Mexico, whether he was on the mic for a broadcast or helping keep the scorebook.  Tom did anything he could to help young athletes succeed and will truly be missed.”-Steve Davis, Proview Networks
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